Monday, September 7, 2009

The Last Laugh Was at My Expense

Here's the joke that involves Mormon culture I promised a while ago. If you need help the Mormon words can be found in all caps in my terminology guide on my sidebar.
We will call this joke The Gods Must Be Crazy II. If you aren't related, you probably never read The Gods Must Be Crazy I, but it was the e-mail I sent out about finding out I was having twins, a week after we had a brand new $13,ooo debt dumped on us, and we still had two boys in diapers. It was so fun. The good news is we survived. So, without further ado, the longish version of The Gods Must Be Crazy II.
A few months ago, my husband got called to be the Ward Clerk. We got a call from the Stake Clerk to meet with the Stake President. Papi was so sure I was getting a calling. He knew from past experience that they would ask the spouse first if they would be supportive of the calling before extending it to the "victim". We were supposed to meet with them right after our meetings, but during the last meeting, Relief Society for me, I was sent back to the stake offices. The president explained they wanted to call my husband to be ward clerk, and I was relieved it wasn't me, except in hindsight, if it had been for me, it would have been a stake calling, and frankly, they're not that bad. Anyhow, then I went to sit in the hall and the men were meeting right next door, so when Papi went in to meet with the Stake President, he didn't see me. The first thing the president did was ask him some questions to make sure he was worthy and the whole time he was super confused, because why did he need to be worthy for me to have a calling? Then they called me back in and explained. I had a good laugh at his expense. So, a few weeks ago, he comes home and he just says to me, you'd better prepare yourself. What does that mean? It has been common knowledge that both our ward Relief Society and Primary presidencies are due for changes. He just said, changes are about to be made and the list of possibilities is shrinking. This insinuated that I was on that puny list. He said the bishop was praying about it. I figured Papi could just be trying to get me back for not getting the calling last time and so he decided to scare me. But then again, better safe than sorry. If the bishop is praying about this, I thought, guess who else will? Dueling prayers, lets see who wins. Do I have more clout than the bishop? I thought I would. I planned to pray harder. Right. But, I get sidetracked. I just told God that I'm always willing to help, but considering the fact that I can't even get everyone dressed in the morning, get food on the table every evening, or realize what time it is to get everyone in bed at night, I really wasn't in a very good position to take on more responsibility. I mean, before putting me in that position he really ought to think of my family's needs first. After having that little prayer in my heart, I felt pretty peaceful. He knew. I figured I could end up being a Primary song leader or something like that to help the kids, and certainly there were other people who could handle the head honcho positions much better.

So, about a week and a half later, I'm finishing my "ogre lady" thing, and I get snagged by the Bishop. He wants to have a little talk with me. And he just starts chatting and asking my opinion about the Relief Society, and I'm thinking how novel to ask the sister's opinions. I thought, next he'll move on to the Primary, as he was acting like he just wanted some feedback. I figured if I was lame enough in my responses, he'd also eliminate me as a candidate for either President. Then instead of moving on to the Primary, reader's digest version, he asks me to be the Relief Society president. I totally did NOT expect this. Not even after my husband warned me. Not even after the bishop approached me, not even after he started talking about the Relief Society. I know, I'm dense. It just seemed impossible. I think I'm pretty sure I laughed at him. I remember telling him some good reasons why that was a bad idea. Then he told me some irritating reasons why it was a good idea. Then I'm not sure if I was abducted by aliens or what because I have amnesia, but suddenly I realized we were just sitting there and I don't know if he'd been saying anything or not, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't, so after playing dumb and acting like I wasn't sure if I understood the question, we got my husband in on the conversation and then the Bishop left it entirely up to my free agency and gave me time to talk it over with my husband and pray before deciding. How annoying. I bet bishops secretly love turning your life upside down like that and watching all the crazy reactions people have. Honestly, I thought the bishop had his wires crossed. I kept asking him if he wasn't confused about what position I was supposed to have, but he kept being sure he meant what he said. So, after much confusion and bewilderment, my husband and God have talked me into saying yes. The only thing I am sure of is that the reasons why I was chosen are compelling and if I don't share the gifts God gave me, it's doubtful I'm going to get His help in the areas I'm lacking in either. Apparently, all the things I'm going to mess up don't even matter, it just matters that I'm going to do the main thing I was chosen to do the best I can. It has something to do with this post (the last few paragraphs only), plus some professional skills I've developed such as neutrality and objectivity and being oh so sure I'm not the judge. How on earth someone who can't make it through her laundry is going to add these responsibilities to the list is something I totally don't get. I know I can't let my family take second place no matter what happens. But Isaiah55:8-9 came to my mind:

8 ¶ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Or in other words, He sees it differently. I think I need to subtract from my agenda instead of adding to it, but He thinks something like this is going to teach me how to do my life better, or something... Excuse me if I still kind of suspect chaos will happen first. I just know myself.
I'm just taking that big leap of faith because that's the thought that I kept getting- To take a leap of faith. I need to take a big leap of faith. Sure hope there's a net under there!........
And a massage therapist. My neck is killing me. I've only been serving in this position for less than 24 hours and the circus has already begun.

12 comments:

Janna, Will, and Grace said...

Oh my word Shellie. I feel your pain. I was recently called as the Relief Society President in my ward as well. My reaction was very similar. I totally laughed and thought it was a horribly mean joke. I'll keep you in my prayers. It's a wild ride for sure.

The Cranes said...

You'll do a great job, I'm sure! (Glad it isn't me, though.) Now both my sisters are presidents! (But I am not the least bit feeling left out, as I have NEVER had the desire to be the president of ANYTHING. In fact, I had a life-long goal to never attend a ward council meeting, which I sadly had to give up a few months ago when the YW prez. went out-of-town the week-end of ward council and asked me to take her place. So I had to since my job is to do what she asks!)

4boyzmdmom said...

One of my friends in this ward tells the story of being called as RS president years ago when she was pregnant with her 9th child and her husband was in the process of getting excommunicated for, among other things, being repeatedly unfaithful to her. She says when the bishop issued the call, he told her he had gone back to the Lord in prayer three times, asking "Are you SURE this is really who you want right now?!!" She says it turned out having that calling at that time in her life was just what she needed. So take heart! I laughed at your "dueling prayers"--I had a similar experience when I knew I was being considered as Primary president. Obviously, my bishop won that duel as well!

You will be great; you have unique things to offer!!

RAQ said...

You have charity and the scriptures say, "charity never faileth" so you will not fail!!!

RAQ said...

You have charity and the scriptures say, "charity never faileth" so you will not fail!!!

Suburban Correspondent said...

I'm sure you'll be great!

BoufMom9 said...

The whole time I was reading this, I just knew the outcome. Sometimes we just have to trust in the Lord. He has big plans for you.
God Bless!

Patty O. said...

Wow. I can totally understand your feelings of anxiety! That would be so overwhelming! I was called to be the RS pres of the singles ward many moons ago and I remember totally laughing when the bishop extended the calling. But, wow, it is soooo much different to be the RS pres. of a family ward.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll be great. And don't forget to delegate!

Merrianne said...

you will be a FANTASTIC RS pres!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Ellen said...

I've always heard "if you really need something done, ask a busy person."

I'm sure this will work out. You might be a little crazy, but I'm of the mind that a little insanity helps you cope!

Jen said...

Oh boy. It's crazy, isn't it? Last year our Primary & EQ were reorganized at the same time, also there was an opening in the RS to be filled, as was the stake primary. Getting phone calls at that time was nerve wracking for both of us. And then over again recently when the YW and RS were reorganized...another phone call. Usually when I get a new calling, I see it coming--I have a direct prompting about where I am to serve and then receive the call a week or so later. In this ward I have never had that experience, so I'm going along just fine with my life and get the phone call--then realize that these major organizations are needing to be reorganized...

You will do great!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

well congrats .... I think! I would SO die if that happened to me! I was having enough trouble being called as 1st counselor in the Primary! Good Luck!